What To Do About the Monaco Grand Prix

What to do about the Monaco Grand Prix? It seems that is the question being asked every time the race comes around and this week, I dig right in.

In other Business of Motorsport, I look at the numbers behind this year’s Indy 500, more details on the potential revival of A1 GP, a tease of the new Alpine Hypercar and more.

I also have the latest motorsport sponsorship deals and partnerships, some team news and why Christian Horner is so popular these days.

All this and more in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport Roundup. Business news that racers can use.

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix has always been an anachronism. From the days when it was the only street race on the calendar to today where the racing tends to be processional and other races could potentially eclipse the glamor of Monte Carlo, its place on the F1 calendar seems imperiled more and more.

I am a fan of the Monaco Grand Prix. It rewards a driver who is precise and focused and qualifying is always exciting. Yes the glitz and glamor is nice but drivers still consider it a supreme test of driver skill, regardless of how “boring” new fans feel. That being said, here are a selection of articles that look at Monaco’s place on the F1 calendar, why and why it shouldn’t be removed from its traditional spot and what could be done to make the race more “exciting.”.

Meanwhile, ABC’s Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix broadcast drew 1.79 million average viewers, the largest live U.S. audience ever for the race. It was also the third-largest live U.S. audience on record for any Formula 1 race.

Organizers of Formula 1’s Qatar Grand Prix have revealed the extent of the renovations made to the Lusail International Circuit. “While the circuit layout has not been altered the facility itself has been upgraded, with an entirely new pits and paddock complex, medical centre, race control, media centre and expanded fan zones.”

Formula One has announced the debut of a new blockchain ticketing experience. “Each personalized ticket will showcase various stages of the circuit. In the future, the tickets can be used as a digital key to unlock additional benefits and provide loyalty benefits.”

Racing News365 reports that Alfa Romeo is to join Haas in a 2024 F1 title deal. “Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations did not deny the rumours of potentially a two-year deal also taking in 2025 when approached by RacingNews365.”

The Financial Times reports on how Asia remains a missing part of F1’s global expansion plan.

In total, there were six races in Asia a decade ago. Today, there are two, not counting China, which has been off limits since the last Shanghai Grand Prix in 2019, before the pandemic. South Korea hasn’t hosted races since 2013. The same goes for India, where F1 no longer has a broadcast deal and instead uses its own platform, F1 TV, to screen live races. The Malaysian Grand Prix last took place in 2017, with falling ticket sales and prohibitive promoter fees ending a run going back to 1999.”

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has promised changes are in the pipeline in response to the recent criticism from CEO Laurent Rossi. Addressing the media, Szafnauer said: “Changes are in progress but it takes time. It’s a huge team effort.”

General Motorsport Industry News

Business of Motorsport

Another spectacular, and slightly controversial Indy 500 has concluded and here are some impressive numbers from “the greatest spectacle in racing.”

IndyCar is facing more good news as Sports Business Journal notes that the series is seeing an increase in ticket sales for its Iowa and Detroit events based on reports from Marshall Pruett at Racer.com. “Upcoming IndyCar events in Iowa and Detroit are “seeing meaningful increases in ticket sales,” according to Marshall Pruett of RACER.com.”

What To Do About the Monaco Grand Prix

Adam Cooper at Motorsport.com has more details on the ambitious plans behind the A1 GP revival, something I mentioned in last week’s Business of Motorsport. “It’s a revival of the concept, really,” he says. “It’s not a revival of the A1 GP championship, it’s a new championship, but using the same concept.”

The Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team has announced its plans to relocate to a new facility fit for the future to accommodate the team’s growth. The team will acquire Andretti Autosport’s current Indianapolis headquarters in 2025. The 89,000 square-foot facility offers the team nearly triple the space Arrow McLaren resides in today.

Business of Motorsport

Michael Andretti may want to hold onto their old building a little longer instead of selling it to McLaren as Speed Cafe reports that an Andretti Global company is being sued for US$11.3million over the construction of its massive new headquarters in Indianapolis.

Dillon Construction Group (DCG) has filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County Court against the Andretti real estate company known as ‘Cardinal XLIII’, among others, claiming late payments and breach of contract.”

The Race looks at the challenges Formula E’s new CEO must overcome. “While James believes that Reigle “very much had an overall positive impact on Formula E” he also realises that several areas, despite having shown a decent post-pandemic recovery, remain untapped on the commercial and media side.”

Business of Motorsport

Alpine has released a teaser image of the LMDH-spec Hypercar that is set to contest the FIA WEC from 2024. The car will be unveiled at Le Mans Friday 9 June on the eve of the Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The ORECA-chassised car is set for a two-car full-season entry with the Signatech-operated Alpine Endurance team. The as yet un-named car is the indirect replacement for the ex LMP1 Alpine A480.

Ford Performance chief Mark Rushbrook says the brand’s commitment to categories such as Supercars is dependent on the “opportunity to win”.

What I will say is that, anywhere we race, we race for the same reasons, and that is to win races and championships that matter,” said Rushbrook. “We need to have that opportunity to win because it’s important to our brand. If we’re not able to win – if we don’t have the opportunity to win – it has the risk of tarnishing our brand.”

Praga has appointed a US-based official dealer for its R1 race car. “Praga Racing USA, powered by Infinity Nine International, was formed to grow the presence of the R1 and to support the Praga R1 owner community within the United States.”

Two million dollars from New York State will be coming to Watkins Glen to bring the International Motor Racing Research Center to downtown.

According to the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, the money will be used to redevelop the former 111 North Franklin Street into the home of the new International Motor Racing Research Center. The site was home to “Rooster Fish”, which had been relocated to 223 North Franklin Street.”

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, partnerships and related analysis that were announced this week.

Business of Motorsport

Team News

Here is a roundup of the latest team news from around the world of motorsport.

Business of Motorsport

Motorsport Movers & Shakers

Business of Motorsport

Christian Horner has made the (digital) pages of GQ. In the article, they explain how he has become Formula 1’s main character.

While Horner (like his peers) receives prime minister-grade coverage in Europe, the member of his family most likely to be recognized stateside in recent years is his wife, Geri Halliwell, best known for her time performing as Ginger Spice. In the last few years, though, Formula 1’s Netflix-aided American boom has made Horner recognizable in this country, too. “Now the immigration guys, even—they used to get excited about my wife when she arrived,” he said. “But now it seems to be, ‘You’re the guy from the Drive to Survive!’”

What To Do About the Monaco Grand Prix

Rob Marshall has stepped back from his role as Red Bull Racing’s Chief Engineering Officer in order to join McLaren’s Formula 1 team in 2024. Marshall will take on the position of Technical Director, Engineering & Design, when he is permitted to join McLaren at the start of 2024.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.